Warriors win district at the War Path over Wayne

May 23—On a hot Tuesday evening, the Southwestern Warriors looked to claim yet another district title as they took on Wayne County at the War Path. Both times they've played the Lady Cards this season, the game was over in five innings. Despite this one going all the way, and despite many close calls over the course of the game, Southwestern ended up shutting out Wayne County 8-0 to claim the 48th District title, getting themselves one step closer to their goal of making back to the region title game.

Jayla Singleton drew the start for the Warriors and immediately recorded two outs, including getting her first strikeout of the ball game. She then walked freshman Kaitlyn West before freshman Addison Garner had the first hit of the game, a single to the shortstop. A great throw to Chloe Carroll from Arabella Lowery would get a runner out at third though, retiring the side.

Carroll led off in the bottom of the first and reached safely following an error by the third baseman. A walk on Kylie Dalton gave the Warriors two base runners with no outs and it didn't take them long to capitalize on that, as Abigail Whitescarver hit a high fly ball to deep center that dropped for a double, giving Southwestern a 2-0 edge. Brynn Troxell was able to reach on a walk but two were left stranded after a strikeout from West on the mound.

Junior Breanna Burnette was walked with one out in the top of the second, but that was all the Cardinals could muster in the half-inning. Macie Gwin had a single to begin the bottom of the frame, but she was replaced on first by Arabella Lowery following a fielder's choice. Two straight fly outs kept the score at 2-0 heading into the third.

Junior Malainey Dobbs was able to hit a single with one gone in the top of the third, before a walk on freshman Sadiebelle Healan gave the Cards two base runners to work with. Wayne had runners on the corners before a strikeout from Singleton brought the top of the inning to a close. Dalton was able to reach second base leading off in the bottom of the third after an error, with a walk on Whitescarver giving the Warriors a good chance to score again. Zoie Lowery, with two away, was able to reach on another error by the third baseman, with a run scoring on the play, as the Warriors now led 3-0.

Junior Alexis Coyle was walked in the top of the fourth with two outs, with senior Dorian Dixson hitting a single to center before a fly out left two base runners stranded again for Wayne. Arabella Lowery walked to base safely in the bottom of the frame, with Danielle Taylor, pinch running for her, was able to reach scoring position after a sacrifice bunt from Hanah Ellis. Dalton hit a fly ball to left that was dropped for an error, allowing a run to score on the play. After a final fly out, the Warriors' lead had grown to 4-0.

Walks on Dobbs and West gave the Lady Cardinals two base runners with just one out in the top of the fifth. An error allowed both runners to advance into scoring position, but Singleton held firm on the mound, striking out the next two batters to retire the side. After a strikeout from West to begin the bottom of the inning, Jordyn McDonald drew a walk. McDonald was able to advance to third during the next at-bat, with a single to center from Zoie Lowery bringing her home for the RBI. An RBI double from Gwin scored Makenna New, with a sacrifice fly from Arabella Lowery bringing Gwin home soon after. All be told, the Warriors had full control of this game now, leading 7-0 heading into the sixth inning.

A single from Burnette began the top of the frame, but that was all the Cards were able to do as the side was quickly retired on three straight outs. Carroll was hit by a pitch in the bottom of the sixth and quickly scored after an RBI single from Dalton to deep right field. Wayne quickly had three outs of their own to retire the side and they desperately needed eight runs in the final inning to extend the ball game.

Dobbs had a single to center to begin the seventh before a strikeout from Singleton and a ground out brought the Cards down to their final out. Garner drew a walk to give Wayne runners on the corners but it just wasn't enough, as the final batter grounded out to Carroll at third, and after the throw to first the game was over as Southwestern prevailed 8-0.

Whitescarver had two RBI's in the victory, with Dalton, Zoie Lowery, Arabella Lowery and Gwin each adding one apiece. McDonald had two stolen bases, with Carroll and Taylor each adding one. Singleton had a complete game shutout in her win on the mound, allowing just five hits with seven walks and five strikeouts.

Southwestern improves to 25-10 and the Warriors have won their seventh-straight 48th District title. They now await to see who they draw in the first round of the 12th Region Tournament, to be held next week at Mercer County.

Jacob Pratt is the Sports Editor of the Commonwealth Journal and can be reached at